Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

December 9, 2023

Housing selection uses new system

Spring marks a tumultuous time for many students as they search for student housing. The current first-years and sophomores will have the same selection process, but the focus is being placed on the junior class.
“The (future) sophomores only have to select different dorms, whereas (future) junior have different choices in apartments and houses,” said Alisha Smith, assistant director of Residential Life. “Also, (future)  juniors have to deal with different sizing of houses.”
On April 19-22, the current sophomores will be given three different lottery numbers.
“Students can have their lottery numbers change each night,” Smith said. “This is so the (housing) process can be more fair and less stressful.”
Smith explained that giving sophomores three nights to pick helps them to “regroup and make a new plan in case they didn’t get the housing they wanted for next year.”
Each night, different housing will be open for sophomores. Sunday night, single rooms and six-person houses will be open for registration; Monday night, doubles and five-person houses will be open; Tuesday night, three and four-room apartments will be open.
First-years will have one night for registration and will be in one of five groups.
The housing selection process will be similar last year’s online registration, which was the first time Augustana tried an online housing selection.
“Last year, the online process worked very well,” Smith said.
Smith said the year before Augustana implemented the online housing selection, registering “was very stressful because it was very overwhelming.”
Before the housing selection process was online, first-years and sophomores would go to the Westerlin lounge and were given lottery numbers between 1 and however many students applying for housing.
“There was a lot of crying because some groups would have to cut people out of the group if they didn’t get the housing they wanted,” Smith said.
Senior Alex Odenkirk remembered his experience with the housing selection process in Westerlin as “insane and super hectic.”
“Tensions were definitely high,” Odenkirk said. “You would try desperately to make a plan with friends that worked. Then when you got there, you had no idea what was open and you would just have to grab what was open and hope that there was enough spaces.”
Campus construction marks another hurdle. Smith said first-years that choose the J-wing of Westerlin should only pick them “if they are not going to be coming to campus early next year because the renovations won’t be done yet.”
Westerlin renovations will begin early this summer.
Housing applications were given out April 1 and students were given lottery numbers April 8. Tours on the various TLA houses and apartments were also given last weekend.
The Residential Life Office will be open every night of the housing selection process on April 19-22 to assist students.

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Housing selection uses new system